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Even as new posters have been revealed for the final film in the Twilight series, Robert Pattinson is taking a major step away from the shadow of Edward Cullen with his starring role in David Cronenberg’s Competition film, Cosmopolis. The actor plays a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager who embarks on an odyssey of sorts through Manhattan in his limousine.
Pattinson, Cronenberg, Paul Giamatti, Emily Hampshire and Sara Gadon sat down for a press conference Friday in Cannes before the film’s big premiere that night. Producers Martin Katz and Paulo Branco also attended, along with novelist Don DeLillo, whose book is the basis for the film adaptation.
When Pattinson was asked how he prepared for the role, the actor, who was prone to spurts of quiet giggling while answering the questions, admitted that he had spent some time stressed out before filming began.
“I spent two weeks in my hotel room worrying, and confusing myself,” said Pattinson, who said there weren’t really rehearsals before they began shooting.
The fast-paced, chatty dialogue in the film was taken directly from DeLillo’s novel, creating a sort of unique rhythm in the movie.
“What I liked about the script initially was its lyricism and just the rhythms of it,” he said, adding that he felt it was more like creating a song than a movie.
“Normally, when you do a movie, you can kind of blur the lines and make it your own,” he added, “but with this, the only thing I knew is that I didn’t want to change a single word.”
While questions about Twilight were off the table, one reporter asked if Cronenberg — whose films include A Dangerous Method and Crash — saw Pattinson’s character as a “blood-sucking capitalist.”
Cronenberg said that he didn’t reference his previous work when working on a new movie, and neither did the actors.
“This is a real person, with a history and a past, and his past is not Twilight, it’s Cosmopolis,” said Cronenberg of Pattinson’s character, Eric Packer. “You are creating a new thing, an original thing, and you have to forget all that other stuff.”
The film seems perfectly timed, with its undertones about the state of finance and power in the U.S. and the world. But Pattinson seemed to see the light in the movie rather than just all the dark.
“I think it’s actually a really hopeful movie,” he told reporters.
“You present a world that doesn’t make sense to anybody, which is I guess finance is the best metaphor for that,” he continued. “And it seems to have just absurd disproportionate power, and you say it’s kind of ending the world. But the world doesn’t end, it’s just a rebirth.
“Maybe I’m just a depressive,” he added, “but I think sometimes the world does need to be washed and cleansed. And that’s the hope of it.”
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford
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